The Nantahala Dash

"The race would not have happened without the help of my action team. They made this event possible!"

- Rutledge

Background Information

For Rutledge’s Cumulative Leadership Project, he hosted a slalom kayaking race on the Nantahala River.  The project was meant to help introduce new kayakers to slalom paddling.  Often, slalom paddling can be intimidating and hard to get into.  By hosting this event, Rutledge tried to make it more accessible and fun to anyone that wants to try.  The first year of the event happened on April 27th, 2014, which was the same weekend as the NOC Spring Fling (an annual festival that brings paddlers to the Nantahala River). At the race, Rutledge also sold t-shirts that he designed, with all of the shirt sale proceeds going to American Whitewater.

Implementation of Culminating Leadership Project

A lot of planning was done before this day.  Rutledge had to obtain insurance for all the racers and waivers for all the racers.  He recruited a team to help him start the racers and do the timing during the race.  Thanks to the help of NOC, he was able to complete all of the necessary paper work several weeks before the race.  When race day came, everything was ready for an awesome event.  The race course consisted of fifteen gates.  The day before the race, Rutledge went to course site at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where he handed out flyers, set up the gates for the next day, and manned a booth with one of his action team members.  This was an important day because it made everything run smoother on race day.

Results of Project

The first year of the Nantahala Dash had eighteen participants in the race and raised over one hundred dollars for American Whitewater.  Participants came from several states, and their ages ranged from thirteen to fifty four.  Overall, the race went off without a hitch.  Rutledge had three people timing and two people taking pictures and videos (these were his action team members).

“The race would not have happened without the help of my action team.  They made this event possible!”
– Rutledge

What’s Next

After hosting this race, Rutledge appreciates all the hard work that others put in to make events possible.  For the summer 2014, he will be helping teach middle school students at his alma mater (the French Broad River Academy) to whitewater kayak.

“Throughout my CLP, I learned a lot about communication, and I hope to make this an annual event.”
– Rutledge